|Lotus seeds Quick Facts|
|Scientific Name:||Nelumbo nucifera|
|Origin||Tropical Asia and Queensland (Australia) which is widely cultivated in water gardens.|
|Colors||White or off-white|
|Major nutrients||Manganese (27.00%)
Vitamin B1 (14.25%)
|Health benefits||Treats Insomnia, Good for Diabetic patients, Anti-Aging, Heal diarrhea, Reducing blood pressure, Treat urinary problem, Gum issue, Instant Energy, Treats various sexual diseases, Pregnancy, Improves appetite, Treats mouth sores and ulcers, Cures fatty liver, Treats reproductive disorders in both males and females, Controls excessive bleeding, Alleviates stomach problems, Keeps heart diseases at bay|
Seeds are available in various dry fruits store and you can eat it just like popcorn. But unlike popcorn, lotus seeds are healthy and offer many benefits. It is commonly known as makhana in India and is small, round and white or off-white in appearance. They are the edible seeds of lotus flower which can be roasted or fried. Lotus seeds are used for nutritional and healing properties in Chinese medicine. The lotus seeds are highly useful in terms of nutritional benefits and are low in saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol; high in magnesium potassium, thiamine and phosphorus. Besides being edible, the lotus plant has many health and beauty benefits as well. You can use makhana seeds in desserts, rice porridge, soups and stir fry dishes.
Apart from their sweet taste, lotus seed is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Consuming 100 gram of lotus seeds 0.621 mg of Manganese, 168 mg of Phosphorus, 0.171 mg of Vitamin B1, 56 mg of Magnesium, 17.28 g of Carbohydrate and 0.168 mg of Vitamin B6. Moreover many Amino acids 0.059 g of Tryptophan, 0.2 g of Threonine, 0.205 g of Isoleucine, 0.326 g of Leucine, 0.264 g of Lysine and 0.072 g of Methionine are also found in 100 gram of lotus seeds.
Health Benefits of Lotus seeds
Several researchers have found many uses of the lotus plant. The seeds are powerful antioxidants and help fight inflammation and aging. Apart from that research has found the seeds to be useful in lowering hypertension. Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of using lotus seeds regularly
1. Treats Insomnia
Sleeping disorders like sleep apnoea and insomnia are common heath issues suffered by the elderly people as well as the young generation. Sleeping disorders are mainly caused due to stress and may trigger underlying complicated health-related problems. The seeds of lotus are used as effective home remedies to cure such sleeping disorders. The calming effects and the natural sedative properties of the seeds are effective in healing the restlessness and thus encourage sound sleep.
2. Good for Diabetic patients
Since Lotus seeds are low in calories but high in fiber, it help in lowering down the blood sugar levels, so a diabetic patient must consume lotus seeds regularly to maintain the health. It is a health and tasty snack for diabetics.
Lotus seeds consist of anti-aging enzymes that slows down the aging process and also repairs damaged proteins. So, consuming these seeds can actually reverse your aging benefits without using any anti-aging creams. Due to its anti-aging enzymes, scientist is finding different methods to use these seeds in cosmetics and skincare products but it is better to eat them instead of using the products.
4. Heal diarrhea
According to Chinese medicine, the sweet taste of lotus seeds benefit to nourish the spleen and diarrhea. Lotus seed is used in Chinese medicine to reduce diarrhea problem. They also used to increase the spleen health. Research said that lotus seeds help to strengthen the digestive and reduce diarrhea.
5. Reducing blood pressure
The embryo which can found inside of the lotus seed, have benefits to the heart because of its bitter and cooling properties. The bitter component that is isoquinoline alkaloids claimed has calming effects and antispasmodic, which help dilate blood vessels and reduce blood pressure.
6. Treat urinary problem
Lotus seed is considered one of the best choices to cure urinary problems. Sometime the seed is combined with other ingredient to cure urinary problems like prostatitis and reproductive condition.
7. Gum issue
People who suffer from related gum issue are recommended to take lotus seeds because of the healing properties. Regular consumption of lotus seeds gradually heals your gum issues.
8. Instant Energy
As mentioned earlier lotus seeds are a good source of protein, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. If case you’re looking for a healthy and tasty snack then lotus seed is for you. They rapidly increase your energy level so you should always have them in your home, in your handbag and also carry them while travelling. You can eat Lotus seeds just like pop-corns or you can also roast them to golden brown. It’ll give you instantaneous energy moreover it is very healthy, tasty and nutritious at the same time. The best thing about this seed is that it can be digested by any age group so you can also give it to kids.
9. Treats various sexual diseases
Lotus seeds are known to have excellent home remedies towards the treatment of various kinds of sexual diseases. It has been used extensible in Chinese medicinal world along with other herbs. Treatment of sexual diseases is mainly a secret matter, and not many people want this to be discussed in public. So using the seeds of lotus has been a much safer and private affair to keep this treatment a secret. People suffering from sexual diseases can get rid of the complications very easily without even letting others know that they are undergoing any kind of treatments.
Lotus seeds is considered one of the good source of protein so it helps in stimulating the development of nervous system and brain of fetuses’ that is why it is recommended for pregnant ladies. This snack is very healthy and pregnant ladies should eat after short intervals so “lotus seeds” is advised by doctors. It helps in maintaining healthy pregnancy.
11. Improves appetite
Lotus seeds are one of the best options to bring back lost appetite due to illness or other reasons. High amount of astringent present in the seeds of the lotus is effective to improve the food appetite. Apart from that it also helps in maintaining the health of the kidneys, preventing various kinds of infections in the urinary tract for various reasons and prostatitis.
12. Treats mouth sores and ulcers
An anti- inflammatory property found in lotus seeds helps to cure soreness in the mouth. Regular use of lotus seeds is recommended to cure soreness in the mouth.
13. Cures fatty liver
Occasionally fat gather in the body because of the stress and anxieties. The foods that we eat are not broken down and as a result, the fat accumulates in the different parts of our body. Sometimes fat gets deposited in and around many organs in the body which are termed as visceral fat and may cause numerous health related troubles. The seeds of lotus have medicinal properties that can lower the blood lipids and treats fatty liver.
14. Treats reproductive disorders in both males and females
The seeds of the lotus is extremely beneficial to cure various reproductive complaints both males and females. People tend to become restless and impatient when they cannot get any fruitful results even from various treatments. In such case using lotus seeds come as the ray of hope for many people at that point in time. Frequent consumption of lotus seeds will yield fruitful results, and can find remarkable differences in their positions after a few weeks of consuming it.
15. Controls excessive bleeding
Lotus seeds consist of flavonoids like quercetin that have an anti-haemorrhagic effect and therefore can avoid excessive bleeding by improving the strength of the wall of the capillaries. By charcoaling the seeds of the lotus, the haemostatic effect can be enhanced. The charcoal itself is enriched with the property that helps on promoting the clotting of the blood on the event of excessive bleeding.
16. Alleviates stomach problems
Due to their medicinal properties they are used as home remedies to alleviate stomach problems like diarrhea, indigestion and many others. It is extensively used mainly in Chinese medicines and has thus gained popularity worldwide. It is also known to be effective in improving the health of the spleen.
17. Keeps heart diseases at bay
Both dried and puffed seeds of lotus are used as powerful and effective home cure to keep heart diseases at bay. The low sodium content as well as high magnesium content present in the seeds of lotus keeps the heart healthy, prevent diabetes, keep a check on the blood pressure level and prevent obesity.
How to Eat
- The most common use of the seed is in the form of lotus seed paste, which is used widely in Chinese pastries as well as in Japanese desserts.
- Dried lotus seeds must be soaked in water overnight prior to use. They can then be added directly to soups and congee or used in other dishes.
- Fresh lotus seeds are sold in the seed heads of the plant and eaten by breaking the individual seeds out of the cone-shaped head and removing the rubbery shell.
- Crystallized lotus seeds, made by drying lotus seeds cooked in syrup, are a common Chinese snack, especially during Chinese New Year.
- Dried lotus seeds snack for sale in Surin, Thailand
- In India, the dried seeds are called “Makhana” and they are used to make makkhane ki kheer, a type of milk pudding.
- Lotus seeds are locally known as thamchet and are eaten raw in Manipur, the North-East Indian state.
- Lotus seeds are common in the northern part of Colombia, particularly in cities like Barranquilla and Cartagena.
- Fresh lotus seeds are sold in street markets and are generally eaten raw by the locals.
- Lotus seeds snack is famous in Thailand, mainly in Surin Province; it is called “Med-bua-op”.
- Seeds are popped like popcorn, ground into powder and eaten dry or used in bread making.
- Roasted seeds are a perfect substitute for coffee.
- Unripe seeds are eaten raw, boiled or roasted, while the ripe seeds are boiled or roasted.
- Seeds are added in food dishes, soups, sweetmeat, cakes and desserts.
- Seeds are used in a variety of simple yet delicious desserts in Thai cuisine.
Traditional uses and benefits of Lotus seeds
- Lotus seeds are classified as astringents, being sweet and neutral, and benefiting the spleen, kidney, and heart.
- Sweet taste and nourishing qualities of the seed are responsible for the benefit to the spleen; this helps stop diarrhea associated with qi deficiency.
- Astringent quality helps prevent loss of kidney essence, so the seeds are used to treat weak sexual function in men and leukorrhea in women.
- Seed also has calming properties that ease restlessness, palpitations, and insomnia.
How to Store
Lotus seeds are easy to store in their dried form. These can be packed in plastic containers and store in a cool dry place. Tighten the lid when not in use. Fresh seeds can be kept in zip lock bags under refrigeration and maintain its freshness for more than a week. But it is recommended to use them at the earliest.
Side Effects of Lotus Seeds
Lotus seed allergy is possible in many people, so if you feel any symptom taking lotus seeds, consult your physician.
Patients already on treatment should consult the physician before intake of Lotus seed.
Blood sugar levels
Diabetic patients already on insulin should consult the physician before intake of Lotus seed, since it tends to reduce the blood sugar levels.
Apart from that lotus seed is great as food and herb. Even though, you are not being able to consume this in the following circumstances:
- People usually with stomach fullness may affect in constipation,
- Patients who are diagnosed with weaken physique and spleen deficiency.
- The lotus seed has anti-diarrheal component, if you experience with constipation or indigestion, you should avoid using this.
- For mother, you should avoid to consume these seed during pregnancy.
- Patients with undergoing treatment like cholesterol or psychiatric conditions must avoid taking lotus seed.
- Patients with anti-arrhythmic treatment should consume this ingredient. Consult first to the physician before take any lotus seed.
- Diabetic patients have insulin should not take this lotus seed. It relieves the level of blood sugar.